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The first written record of contact with 'Albion' (by a Greek writer) names both Britain/Alba and Ireland as the 'Prettanik' islands.This is the oldest known name, which then leaves them to be distinguished from each other by Alba (meaning 'white', probably named after the chalk cliffs of Dover), and Hibernia, which is the rather sloppy Latin translation of 'Ierne' as written by the Greeks.
The land bridge makes a few more brief appearances as short-term fluctuations interfere with average sea levels before being swallowed up permanently.The last holdout may have been the Fir Domnann (the Dumnonii Men), possibly one of several British tribes who saw fragments of their number move to Ireland.Coverage here of the Irish tribes therefore is a snapshot, figuratively taken by Ptolemy.Ireland / Erin The earliest settlers arrived in Ireland around 9500 BC, following the slow Ice Age thaw and a gradual process of rehabitation of the British Isles.Remnants of their presence are still scattered across the island.More detail will be available under the individual pages for the traditional Irish kingdoms, but readers should keep in mind the fact that the locations of Ptolemy's tribes cannot always be transferred to locations of the kingdoms that succeeded them.
Some tribes were apparently wiped out, while others, such as the Domnonn and Concani/Gangani moved large distances.
Mountsandel in Coleraine in the north of Ireland is the oldest known site of settlement, with remains of woven huts, stone tools, and food such as berries and hazelnuts being discovered there by archaeologists.
The picture after that is very uncertain, but it seems most likely that several small waves of settlers arrived at various subsequent stages.
The earliest priest-kings who claimed the high kingship are often legendary, with little or no proof of their actual existence bar oral history.
As such, and where necessary, they are shown below with a lilac-tinted background.
Trapped between this land bridge and the ice sheet to the north, the Irish Sea is filled by melt water that forms a vast lake.